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Augustine Vesprey: I did not order the removal of PWU President off TAMCC compound

Chairman of the College Council at the T. A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) has refuted claims that he instructed college security to remove President of the Public Workers Union (PWU) Rachel Roberts from the compound on Tuesday.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY hours after the alleged incident on Tuesday, Vesprey admitted to speaking with the security about Roberts but “it was not to remove her” from the compound, but to prevent her from having a meeting with staff during working hours without permission from the relevant authority.

According to Vesprey, prior to the incident, Roberts was attending a College Council meeting during which he inquired from the PWU leader whether or not the body has the required certification allowing for the representation of TAMCC Council workers.

“I asked Ms. Roberts a question today and the question was does your union have a certificate for representing TAMCC employed workers and the response was that she would check with a former president of the PWU, she attempted to make a phone call but never did, got angry and left the meeting,” Vesprey said.

He explained the relevance of his question in that TAMCC has “two category of workers, those that are paid by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and those that are paid by the college,” pointing to “Section 33 of the Labour Code,” which he said “in no uncertain terms indicates that a union in good stead is made to apply to the Minister of Labour for a certification to represent as a bargaining unit.”

According to Vesprey who was appointed Chairman of the College Council sometime in August last year, while the PWU has certification to represent PSC workers, the bargaining agent “has never had a signed industrial agreement with TAMCC for Council workers.”

“There seems to have been an understanding or a way that they did things over the years. So, I just asked the question, he said adding “I did ask the question to Mr. Lydon Lewis last year but he never responded that way.”

The College Council chairman stated that after posing the question, she (Roberts) left (the meeting) and she said she was going to have a meeting with the workers and to have a meeting with the workers during working hours, you usually have to get permission from the principal.

“So, I told the security that she doesn’t have no right to be on the compound to call any meeting,” Vesprey said, adding in fact at lunch time they, Ms. Roberts and her team, had a meeting in front the college.”

Additionally, he said “in recent days, in entering the college (Roberts has been) instructing the principal (about) who should do what and who should do what.

So, she has taken on herself a managerial role at the college which is not her responsibility,” he added.

THE NEW TODAY has been reliably informed that TAMCC workers are gearing up for another battle with the Chairman of the governing Board of the council and have decided to start wearing union t-shirts from Wednesday to signal their displeasure over the treatment handed out to Roberts.

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